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Sketch of a new esthetic of 


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"* **4*^L 




A New Esthetic of Music 






Copyright, 1907 

Copyright, 1911 


JUL , 


" What seek you ? Say ! And what do you expect ? " 
I know not what ; the Unknown I would have ! 
What s known to me, is endless ; I would go 
Beyond the end : The last word still is wanting." 

[" JDer macfitige 

T OOSELY joined together as regards literary 
- L/ form, the following notes are, in reality, the 
outcome of convictions long held and slowly ma 

In them a problem of the first magnitude is 
formulated with apparent simplicity, without giv 
ing the key to its final solution; for the problem 
cannot be solved for generations if at all. 

But it involves an innumerable series of lesser 
problems, which I present to the consideration of 
those whom they may concern. For it is a long 
time since any one has devoted himself to earnest 
musical research. 

It is true, that admirable works of genius arise 
in every period, and I have always taken my stand 
in the front rank of those who joyfully acclaimed 
the passing standard-bearers; and still it seems to 
me that of all these beautiful paths leading so far 
afield none lead upward. 


The spirit of an art-work, the measure of emotion, 
of humanity, that is in it these remain unchanged in 
value through changing years; the form which these 
three assumed, the manner of their expression, and the 
fiawr of the epoch which gave them birth, are transient^ 
and age rapidly. 

Spirit and emotion retain their essence, In the 
art-work as in man himself; we admire technical 
achievements, yet they are outstripped, or cloy the 
taste and are discarded. 

Its ephemeral qualities give a work the stamp 
of "modernity;" its unchangeable essence hinders 
it from becoming "obsolete." Among both "mod 
ern" and "old" works we find good and bad, 
genuine and spurious. There is nothing properly 
modern only things which have come into bring 
earlier or later; longer in bloom, or sooner withered. 
The Modern and the Old have always been. 

Art-forms are the more lasting, the more closely 
they adhere to the nature of their individual 
species of art, the purer they keep their essential 
means and ends. 

Sculpture relinquishes the expression of the 
human pupil, and effects of color; painting degener 
ates, when it forsakes the flat surface in depictioe 
and takes on complexity in theatrical decoration 
or panoramic portrayal. 

Architecture has its fundamental form, growth 
fern below upward, prescribed by static necessity; 
and K>of necessarily provide the infer- 


mediate and finishing configuration; these are 
eternal and inviolable requirements of the art. 

Poetry commands the abstract thought, which 
it clothes in words. More independent than the 
others, it reaches the furthest bounds. 

But all arts, resources and forms ever aim at the 
one end, namely, the imitation of nature and the 
interpretation of human feelings. 

Architecture, sculpture, poetry and painting are 
old and mature arts; their conceptions are estab 
lished and their objects assured; they have found 
the way through uncounted centuries, and, like the 
planets, describe their regular orbits.* 

Music, compared with them, is a child that has 
learned to walk, but must still be led. It is a 
virgin art, without experience in life and suffering. 

It is all unconscious as yet of what garb is 
becoming, of its own advantages, its unawakened 
capacities. And again, it is a child-marvel that is 
already able to dispense much of beauty, that has 
already brought joy to many, and whose gifts are 
commonly held to have attained full maturity. 

Music as an art, our so-called occidental music, 
is hardly four hundred years old; its state is one 

* None the less, in these arts, taste and individuality can 
and will unceasingly find refreshment and rejuvenation, 


of development, perhaps the very first stage of a 
development beyond present conception, and we 
we talk of " classics 7 and "hallowed traditions"! 
And we have talked of them for a long time!* 

We have formulated rules, stated principles, laid 
down laws; we apply laws made for maturity to a 
child that knows nothing of responsibility! 

Young as it is, this child, we already recognize 
that it possesses one radiant attribute which signal 
izes it beyond all its elder sisters. And the law 
givers will not see this marvelous attribute, lest 
their laws should be thrown to the winds. This 
child it floats on air I It touches not the earth 
with its feet. It knows no law of gravitation. It 
is wellnigh incorporeal. Its material is transparent. 
It is sonorous air. It is almost Nature herself. 

It is free. 

* * 

But freedom is something that mankind have 
never wholly comprehended, never realized to the 
full. They can neither recognize nor acknowl 
edge it. 

They disavow the mission of this child; they 
hang weights upon it. This buoyant creature must 

* Tradition is a plaster mask taken from life, which, in the 
course of many years, and after passing through the hands 
of innumerable artisans, leaves its resemblance to the origi 
nal largely a matter of imagination. 


walk decently, like anybody else. It may scarcely 
be allowed to leap when it were its joy to follow 
the line of the rainbow, and to break sunbeams 
with the clouds. 

Music was born free; and to win freedom is its 
destiny. It will become the most complete of all 
reflexes of Nature by reason of its untrammeled 
immateriality. Even the poetic word ranks lower 
in point of incorporealness. It can gather together 
and disperse, can be motionless repose or wildest 
tempestuosity; it has the extremest heights per 
ceptible to man what other art has these? and 
its emotion seizes the human heart with that 
intensity which is independent of the "idea." 

It realizes a temperament, without describing it, 
with the mobility of the soul, with the swiftness of 
consecutive moments; and this, where painter or 
sculptor can represent only one side or one moment, 
and the poet tardily communicates a temperament 
and its manifestations by words. 

Therefore, representation and description are not 
the nature of music; herewith we declare the 
invalidity of program-music, and arrive at the 

question: What are the aims of music? 

* * 

A BSOLUTE Music 1 What the lawgivers mean 
^ ^ by this, is perhaps remotest of all from the 
Absolute in music. "Absolute music" is a form- 


play without poetic program, in which the form is 
intended to have the leading part. But Form, in 
itself, is the opposite pole of absolute music, on 
which was bestowed the divine prerogative of 
buoyancy, of freedom from the limitations of 
matter. In a picture, the illustration of a sunset 
ends with the frame; the limitless natural phe 
nomenon is enclosed in quadrilateral bounds; the 
cloud-form chosen for depiction remains unchang 
ing for ever. Music can grow brighter or darker, 
shift hither or yon, and finally fade away like the 
sunset glow itself; and instinct leads the creative 
musician to employ the tones that press the same 
key within the human breast, and awaken the 
same response, as the processes in Nature, 

Per contra, "absolute music" is something very 
sober, which reminds one of music-desks in orderly 
rows, of the relation of Tonic to Dominant, of 
Developments and Codas. 

Methinks I hear the second violin struggling, a 
fourth below, to emulate the more dexterous first, 
and contending in needless contest merely to arrive 
at the starting-point. This sort of music ought 
rather to be called the "architectonic/ 7 or "sym 
metric," or "sectional," and derives from the cir 
cumstance that certain composers poured their 
spirit and their emotion into just this mould 
as lying nearest them or their time. Our law 
givers have identified the spirit and emotion, the 
individuality of these composers and their time, 


with "symmetric" music, and finally, being power 
less to recreate either the spirit, or the emotion, 
or the time, have retained the Form as a symbol, 
and made it into a fetish, a religion. The com 
posers sought and found this form as the aptest 
vehicle for communicating their ideas; their souls 
took flight and the lawgivers discover and cherish 
the garments Euphorion left behind on earth. 

A lucky find ! Twas now or never ; 
The flame is gone ; it s true however, 

No need to pity mankind now. 
Enough is left for many a poet s tiring, 

Or to breed envy high and low ; 
And though I have no talents here for hiring, 

I ll hire the robe out, anyhow. 

Is it not singular, to demand of a composer 
originality in all things, and to forbid it as regards 
form? No wonder that, once he becomes original, 
he is accused of " formlessness." Mozart! the 
seeker and the finder, the great man with the 
childlike heart it is he we marvel at, to whom we 
are devoted; but not his Tonic and Dominant, his 
Developments and Codas. 

Such lust of liberation filled Beethoven, the 
romantic revolutionary, that he ascended one short 
step on the way leading music back to its loftier 
self: a short step in the great task, a wide step 
in his own path. He did not quite reach absolute 


music, but in certain moments he divined it, as in 
the introduction to the fugue of the Sonata for 
Hammerclavier. Indeed, all composers have drawn 
nearest the true nature of music in preparatory 
and intermediary passages (preludes and transi 
tions), where they felt at liberty to disregard 
symmetrical proportions, and unconsciously drew 
free breath. Even a Schumann (of so much lower 
stature) is seized, in such passages, by some feeling 
of the boundlessness of this pan-art (recall the 
transition to the last movement of the D-minor 
Symphony); and the same may be asserted of 
Brahms in the introduction to the Finale of his 
First Symphony. 

But, the moment they cross the threshold of the 
Principal Subject, their attitude becomes stiff and 
conventional, like that of a man entering some 
bureau of high officialdom. 

Next to Beethoven, Bach bears closest affinity 
to "infinite music/ 7 * His Organ Fantasias (but 
not the Fugues) have indubitably a strong dash of 
what might be overwritten "Man and Nature."f 
In him it appears most ingenuous because he had 

* " Die Ur-Musik," is the author s happy phrase. But as 
this music never has bee?i y our English terms like " primitive/ 7 
"original," etc., would involve a non sequitur which is 
avoided, at least, by " infinite." [Translator s Note.] 

t In the recitatives of his Passions we hear " human 
; not "correct declamation." 


no reverence for his predecessors (although he 
esteemed and made use of them), and because the 
still novel acquisition of equal temperament opened 
a vista of for the time being endless new possi 

Therefore, Bach and Beethoven* are to be 
conceived as a beginning, and not as unsurpassable 
finalities. In spirit and emotion they will probably 
remain unexcelled; and this, again, confirms the 
remark at the beginning of these lines: That 
spirit and emotion remain unchanged in value 
through changing years, and that he who mounts 
to their uttermost heights will always tower above 
the crowd. 

What still remains to be surpassed, is their form 
of expression and their freedom. Wagner, a Ger 
manic Titan, who touched our earthly horizon in 
orchestral tone-effect, who intensified the form of 
expression, but fashioned it into a system (music- 
drama, declamation, leading-motive), is on this 
account incapable of further intensification. His 
category begins and ends with himself; first, 

*As characteristic traits of Beethoven s individuality I 
would mention the poetic fire, the strong hitman feeling 
(whence springs his revolutionary temper), andLa portent of 
modern nervousness. These traits are certainly opposed to 
those of a " classic." Moreover, Beethoven is no " master/ ) 
as the term applies to Mozart or the later Wagner, just ! 
because his art foreshadows a greater, as yet incomplete. * 
(Compare the section next-following.) 


because he carried it to the highest perfection and 
finish; secondly, because his self-imposed task was 
of such a nature, that it could be achieved by one 
man alone.* The paths opened by Beethoven can 
be followed to their end only through generations. 
They like all things in creation may form only 
a circle; but a circle of such dimensions, that the 
portion visible to us seems like a straight line. 
Wagner s circle we can view in its entirety a circle 
within the great circle. 

/ T A HE name of Wagner leads to program-music. 
A This has been set up as a contrast to so-called 
"absolute" music, and these concepts have become 
so petrified that even persons of intelligence hold 
one or the other dogma, without recognition for a 
third possibility beyond and above the other two. 
In reality, program-music is precisely as one-sided 
and limited as that which is called absolute. In 
place of architectonic and symmetric formulas, 
instead of the relation of Tonic to Dominant, it 
has bound itself in the stays of a connecting 
poetic sometimes even philosophic program. 

Every motive so it seems to me contains, like 
a seed, its life-germ within itself. From the 

*" Together with the problem, it gives us the solution," 
as I once said of Mozart. 


different plant-seeds grow different families of 
plants, dissimilar in form, foliage, blossom, fruit, 
growth and color.* 

Even each individual plant belonging to one and 
the same species assumes, in size, form and strength, 
a growth peculiar to itself. And so, in each motive, 
there lies the embryo of its fully developed form; 
each one must unfold itself differently, yet each 
obediently follows the law of eternal harmony. 
This form is imperishable, though each be unlike 
every other. 

The motive in a composition with program bears 
within itself the same natural necessity; but it 
must, even in its earliest phase of development, 
renounce its own proper mode of growth to mould 
or, rather, twist itself to fit the needs of the 
program. Thus turned aside, at the outset, from 
the path traced by nature, it finally arrives at a 
wholly unexpected climax, whither it has been led, 
not by its own organization, but by the way laid 
down in the program, or the action, or the philo 
sophical idea. 

And how primitive must this art remain! True, 
there are unequivocal descriptive effects of tone- 
painting (from these the entire principle took its 

* " . . . Beethoven, dont les esquisses thematiques ou 
ettmentaires sont innombrables, mais qui, sit6t les themes 
trouve*s, semble par cela xne me en avoir etabli tout la deve- 
loppement . , ." [VINCENT D !NDY, in " Cesar Franck."] 


rise), but these means of expression are few and 
trivial, covering but a very small section of musical 
art. Begin with the most self-evident of all, the 
debasement of Tone to Noise in imitating the 
sounds of Nature the rolling of thunder, the roar 
of forests, the cries of animals; then those somewhat 
less evident, symbolic imitations of visual impres 
sions, like the lightning-flash, springing movement, 
the flight of birds; again, those intelligible only 
through the mediation of the reflective brain, such 
as the trumpet-call as a warlike symbol, the shawm 
to betoken ruralism, march-rhythm to signify 
measured strides, the chorale as vehicle for religious 
feeling. Add to the above the characterization of 
nationalities national instruments and airs and 
we have a complete inventory of the arsenal of 
program-music. Movement and repose, minor and 
major, high and low, in their customary signifi 
cance, round out the list. These are auxiliaries, 
of which good use can be made upon a broad 
canvas, but which, tajcen by themselves, are no 
more to-be called music than wax figures may pass 

for monuments. * 

# * 

And, after all, what can the presentation of a 
little happening upon this earth, the report con 
cerning an annoying neighbor no matter whether 
in the next room or in an adjoining quarter of the 
globe have in common with that music which 
pervades the universe ? 


:iusic, indeed, it is given to set in vibration 
: Banian moods: Dread (Leporello), oppression 
:.vJ, invigoration, lassitude (Beethoven s last 
:;ets), decision (Wotan), hesitation, despond- 
encouragement, harshness, tenderness, excite- 
_, , tranquillization, the feeHng of surprise or 
expectancy, and still others; likewise the inner echo 
of external occurrences which is bound up in these 
moods of the soul. But not the moving cause 
itself of these spiritual affections ; not the joy over 
an avoided danger, not the danger itself, or the 
kind of danger which caused the dread; an emo 
tional state, yes, but not the psychic species of 
this emotion, such as envy, or jealousy; and it is 
equally futile to attempt the expression, through 
music, of moral characteristics (vanity, clever- 
ness), or abstract ideas like truth and justice. Is 
it possible to imagine how a poor, but contented 
man could be represented by music? The con- 
tentment, the soul-state, can be interpreted by 
music; but where does the poverty appear, or the 
important ethic problem stated in the words "poor, 
but contented"? This is due to the fact that 
"poor" connotes a phase of terrestrial and social 
conditions not to be found in the eternal harmony. 
And Music is a part of the vibrating universe. 

I may be allowed to subjoin a few subsidiary 
reflections: The greater part of modern theatre 


music suffers from the mistake of seeking to repeat 
the scenes passing on the stage, instead of ful 
filling its own proper mission of interpreting the 
soul-states of the persons represented. When the 
scene presents the illusion of a thunderstorm, this 
is exhaustively apprehended by the eye. Never 
theless, nearly all composers strive to depict the 
storm in tones which is not only a needless and 
feebler repetition, but likewise a failure to perform 
their true function. The person on the stage is 
either psychically influenced by the thunderstorm, 
or his mood, being absorbed in a train of thought 
of stronger influence, remains unaffected. The 
storm is visible and audible without aid from 
music; it is the invisible and inaudible, the spiritual 
processes of the personages portrayed, which music 

should render intelligible. 

* * 

Again, there are " obvious " psychic conditions 
on the stage, whereof music need take no account. 
Suppose a theatrical situation in which a convivial 
company is passing at night and disappears from 
view, while in the foreground a silent, envenomed 
duel is in progress. Here the music, by means of 
continuing song, should keep in mind the jovial 
company now lost to sight; the acts and feelings 
of the pair in the foreground may be understood 
without further commentary, and the music 
dramatically speaking ought not to participate in 
their action and break the tragic silence. 


Measurably justified, in my opinion, is the plan 
of the old opera, which concentrated and musically 
rounded out the passions aroused by a moving 
dramatic scene in a piece of set form (the aria). 
Word and stage-play conveyed the dramatic prog 
ress of the action, followed more or less meagrely 
by musical recitative; arrived at the point of rest, 
music resumed the reins. This is less extrinsic than 
some would now have us believe. On the other 
hand, it was the ossified form of the "aria" itself 
which led to inveracity of expression and decadence. 

/ T V HE audible presentation, the "performance," 
of music, its emotional interpretation, derives 
from those free heights whence descended the Art 
itself. Where the art is threatened by earthli- 
ness, it is the part of interpretation to raise it and 
reendow it with its primordial essence. 

Notation, the writing out of compositions, is 
primarily an ingenious expedient for catching an 
inspiration, with the purpose of exploiting it later. 
But notation is to improvisation as the portrait 
to the living model. It is for the interpreter to 
resolve the rigidity of the signs into the primitive 

But the lawgivers require the interpreter to 
reproduce the rigidity of the signs; they consider 
his reproduction the nearer to perfection, the more 
closely it clings to the signs. 


What the composer s inspiration necessarily 
loses* through notation, his interpreter should 
restore by his own. 

To the lawgivers, the signs themselves are the 
most important matter, and are continually grow 
ing in their estimation; the new art of music is 
derived from the old signs and these now stand for 
musical art itself. 

If the lawgivers had their way, any given com 
position would always be reproduced in precisely 

*How strongly notation influences style in music, and 
fetters imagination, how " form " grew up out of it and from 
form arose " conventionalism " in expression, is shown very 
convincingly and avenges itself in tragic wise in E. T. A. 
Hoffmann, who occurs to me here as a typical example. 

This remarkable man s mental conceptions, lost in vision 
ary moods and revelling in transcendentalism, as his writings 
set forth in oft inimitable fashion, must naturally so one 
would infer have found in the dreamlike and transcendental 
art of tones a language and mode of expression peculiarly 

The veil of mysticism, the secret harmonies of Nature, the 
thrill of the supernatural, the twilight vagueness of the 
borderland of dreams, everything, in fact, which he so 
effectively limned with the precision of words all this, one 
would suppose, he could have interpreted to fullest effect by 
the aid of music. And yet, comparing Hoffmann s best 
musical work with the weakest of his literary productions, 
you will discover to your sorrow how a conventional system 
of measures, periods and keyswhereto the hackneyed 
opera-style of the time adds its share could turn a poet into 
a Philistine. But that his fancy cherished another ideal of 
music, we learn from many, and frequently admirable, obser 
vations of Hoffmann the litterateur. 


the same tempo, whensoever, by whomsoever, and 
under whatsoever conditions it might be performed. 

But, it is not possible; the buoyant, expansive 
nature of the divine child rebels it demands the 
opposite. Each day begins differently from the 
preceding, yet always with the flush of dawn. 
Great artists play their own works differently at 
each repetition, remodel them on the spur of the 
moment, accelerate and retard, in a way which 
they could not indicate by signs and always 
according to the given conditions of that " eternal 

And then the lawgiver chafes, and refers the 
creator to his own handwriting. As matters stand 
to-day, the lawgiver has the best of the argument. 

"Notation" ("writing down") brings up the 
subject of Transcription, nowadays a term much 
misunderstood, almost discreditable. The frequent 
antagonism which I have excited with "transcrip 
tions," and the opposition to which an ofttimes 
irrational criticism has provoked me, caused me to 
seek a clear understanding of this point. My final 
conclusion concerning it is this: Every notation 
is, in itself, the transcription of an abstract idea. 
The instant the pen seizes it, the idea loses its 
original form. The very intention to write down 
the idea, compels a choice of measure and key. 


The form, and the musical agency, which the com 
poser must decide upon, still more closely define 
the way and the limits. 

It is much the same as with man himself. Born 
naked, and as yet without definite aspirations, he 
decides, or at a given moment is made to decide, 
upon a career. From the moment of decision, 
although much that is original and imperishable 
in the idea or the man may live on, either is 
depressed to the type of a class. The musical idea 
becomes a sonata or a concerto; the man, a soldier 
or a priest. That is an Arrangement of the original. 
From this first transcription to a second the step 
is comparatively short and unimportant. And yet 
it is only the second, in general, of which any 
notice is taken; overlooking the fact, that a tran 
scription does not destroy the archetype, which is, 
therefore, not lost through transcription. 

Again, the performance of a work is also a tran 
scription, and still, whatever liberties it may take, 
it can never annihilate the original. 

For the musical art-work exists, before its tones 
resound and after they die away, complete and 
intact. It exists both within and outside of time, 
and through its nature we can obtain a definite 
conception of the otherwise intangible notion of the 
Ideality of Time. 

For the rest, most of Beethoven s piano com 
positions sound like transcriptions of orchestral 
works ; most of Schumann s orchestral compositions, 


like arrangements from pieces for the piano 
and they are so, in a way. 

Strangely enough, the Variation-Form is higUy 
esteemed by the Worshippers of the Letter. That 
is singular; for the variation-form when built up 
on a borrowed theme produces a whole series of 
"arrangements" which, besides, are least respectful 
when most ingenious. 

So the arrangement is not good, because it varies 
the original; and the variation is good, although it 
"arranges" the original. 

I A HE term "musikalisch" (musical) is used by 
-*- the Germans in a sense foreign to that in 
which any other language employs it.* It is a 
conception belonging to the Germans, and not to 
culture in general; the expression is incorrect and 
untranslatable. "Musical" is derived from music, 
like "poetical" from poetry, or "physical" from 
physic(s). When I say, "Schubert was one of the 
most musical among men," it is the same as if I 
should say, "Helmholtz was one of the most 
physical among men." That is musical, which 
sounds in rhythms and intervals. A cupboard can 

*The author probably had in mind the languages of 
southern Europe ; the word is employed in English, and in 
the tongues of the Scandinavian group, with precisely the 
same meaning as in German. [Translator s Note.] 


be "musical/ 5 if " music- works" be enclosed in it.* 
In a comparative sense, " musical" may have the 
further signification of " euphonious." "My verses 
are too musical to bear setting to music," a noted 
poet once remarked to me. 

" Spirits moving musically 
To a lute s well-tuned law," 

writes Edgar Allan Poe. Lastly, one may speak 
quite correctly of "musical laughter," because it 
sounds like music. 

Taking the signification In which the term is 
applied and almost exclusively employed in 
German, a musical person is one who manifests an 
inclination for music by a nice discrimination and 
sensitiveness with regard to the technical aspects 
of the art. By "technics" I mean rhythm, 
harmony, intonation, part-leading, and the treat 
ment of themes. The more subtleties he is capable 
of hearing or reproducing in these, the more 
"musical" he is held to be. 

In view of the great importance attached to 
these elements of the art, this "musical" tempera 
ment has naturally become of the highest conse 
quence. And so an artist who plays with perfect 
technical finish should be deemed the most musical 
player. But as we mean by "technics" only the 

* The only kind of people one might properly call musical, 
are the singers ; for they themselves can sound. Similarly, a 
clown who by some trick produces tones when he is touched, 
might be called a pseudo-musical person. 


mechanical mastery of the instrument, the terms 
"technical" and "musical" have been turned into 

The matter has been carried so far as to call a 
composition itself "musical,"* or even to assert of 
a great composer like Berlioz that he was not 
sufficiently musical. f "Unmusical" conveys the 
strongest reproach; branded thus, its object 
becomes an outlaw.} 

In a country like Italy, where all participate in 
the delights of music, this differentiation becomes 
superfluous, and the term corresponding is not 
found in the language. In France, where a living 
sense of music does not permeate the people, there 
are musicians and non-musicians ; of the rest, some 
"are very fond of music," and others "do not care 
for it." Only in Germany is it made a point of 
honor to be "musical," that is to say, not merely 
to love music, but more especially to understand 
it as regards its technical means of expression, and 
to obey their rules. 

A thousand hands support the buoyant child 
and solicitously attend its footsteps, that it may 
not soar aloft where there might be risk of a serious 
fall. But it is still so young, and is eternal; the 

* " But these pieces are so musical," a violinist once re 
marked to me of a four-hand worklet which I had character 
ized as trivial. 

f"My dog is very musical/ I have heard said in all 
seriousness. Should the dog take precedence of Berlioz ? 

\ Such has been my own fate. 


day of its freedom will come- When it shall cease 

to be "musical." 


* # 

/ TpHE creator should take over no traditional 
-*- law in blind belief, which would make him 
view his own creative endeavor, from the outset, 
as an exception contrasting with that law. For 
his individual case he should seek out and formulate 
a fitting individual law, which, after the first com 
plete realization, he should annul, that he himself 
may not be drawn into repetitions when his next 
work shall be in the making. > 

The function of the creative artist consists in 
making laws, not in following laws ready made. 
He who follows such laws, ceases to be a creator. 

Creative power may be the more readily recog 
nized, the more it shakes itself loose from tradition. 
But an intentional avoidance of the rules cannot 
masquerade as creative power, and still less 
engender it. 

The true creator strives, in reality, after perfection 
only. And through bringing this into harmony 
with Ms own individuality, a new law arises without 



* * 

So narrow has our tonal range become, so 
stereotyped its form of expression, that nowadays 
there is Bot one familiar motive that canaot be 
fitted with some other familiar motive so ttimt the 


two may be played simultaneously. Not to lose 
my way in trifling,* I shall refrain from giving 

examples. # 

* # 

That which, within our present-day music, most 
nearly approaches the essential nature of the art, 
is the Rest and the Hold (Pause). Consummate 
players, improviserSj know how to employ these 
instruments of expression in loftier and ampler 
measure. The tense silence between two move 
ments in itself music, in this environment leaves 
wider scope for divination than the more deter 
minate, but therefore less elastic, sound. 

What we now call our Tonal System is nothing 
more than a set of "signs"; an ingenious device to 
grasp somewhat of that eternal harmony; a meagre 
pocket-edition of that encyclopedic work; artificial 
light instead of the sun. Have you ever noticed 
how people gaze open-mouthed at the brilliant 
ffluminalion of a hall? They never do so at the 
millionfold brighter sunshine of noonday. 

* With a friend I once indulged in such trifling in order to 
ascertain how many commonly known compositions were 
written according to the scheme of the second theme in the 
Adagio of the Ninth Symphony. IB a few moments we bad 
eefieeted some fifteen analogues of the mosrt different kinds, 
among them specimens of the lowest type of art And 
BeeHiOTea fenaseH : Is the theme of the Finale in the 
"Fifth ** any otter than the one wherewith the "Second" 
introduces its Allegro ? or than the principal theme of the 
Piano Concerto, only IB 


And so, in. music, the signs have assumed greater 
consequence than that which they ought to stand 
for, and can only suggest. 

How important, indeed, are "Third," "Fifth/ 
and "Octave"! How strictly we divide "conso 
nances" from "dissonances" in a sphere where n& 
dissonances can possibly exist I 

We have divided the octave into twfelve equi 
distant degrees, because we had to manage some 
how, and have constructed our instruments in 
such a way that we can never get in above or 
below or between them. Keyboard instruments, 
in particular, have so thoroughly schooled our ears 
that we are no longer capable of hearing anything 
else incapable of hearing except through this 
impure medium. Yet Nature created an infinite 
gradation infinite! who still knows it nowadays?* 

*"The equal temperament of 12 degrees, which was discussed 
theoretically as early as about 1500, but not established as a 
principle untS shortly before 1700 (by Andreas Werfcmeister), 
divides the octave into twelve equal portions (semitones^ 
hence * twelve-semitone system r ) through which mean 
values are obtained ; no interval is perfectly pure, but aS are 
fairly serviceable." (RiEMAior, " Musik-Lecdkon.") Thus, 
through Andreas Werkmeister, this master-workman in art, 
we have gained the " twelve-semitone " system with inter- 
Yals which are all impure, but fairly serviceable. Bui wtel 
Is "pure/* and what " impure " ? We hear a piano " gone 
out of tune," and whose intervals may thus have beeooae 
"pure, but unserviceabie/* and it sounds impure to ua 
The diplomatic "Twelve-semitone system " is an invention 
by necessity ; yet none the less do we 


And within this duodecimal octave we have 
marked out a series of fixed intervals, seven in 
number, and founded thereon our entire art of 
music. What do I say me series? Two such 
series, one for each leg: The Major and Minor 
Scales. When we start this series of intervals on 
some other degree of our semitonic ladder, we 
obtain a new key, and a "foreign" one, at that! 
How violently contracted a system arose from this 
initial- confusion,* may be read in the law-books; 
we will not repeat it here. 

We teach four-and-twenty keys, twelve times 
the two Series of Seven; but,- in point of fact, we 
have at our command only two, the major key 
and the minor key. The res! are merely &&m$- 
posUwns. By means of the several transpositions 
we are supposed to get different shades of harmony ; 
but this is an illusion. In England, under* the reign 
of the high "concert pitch," the most familiar 
works may be played a semitone higher than they 
are written, without changing their effect. Singers 
transpose an aria to suit their convenience, leaving 
untransposed what precedes and follows. Song 
writers not infrequently publish their own com 
positions in three different pitches; in all three 
editions the pieces are precisely alike. 

* It is termed "Hie Science of Harmony." 


When a well-known face looks out of a window, 
it matters not whether it gazes down from the 
first story or the third. 

Were it feasible to elevate or depress a landscape, 
far as eye can reach, by several hundred yards, the 
pictorial impression would neither gain nor lose 
by it. 

Upon the two Series of Seven, the major key 
and the minor key, the whole art of music has been 
established; one limitation brings on the other. 

To each of these a definite character has been 
attributed; we have learned and have taught that 
they should be heard as contrasts, and they have 
gradually acquired the significance of symbols: 
Major and Minor Maggiore e Minore Content 
ment and Discontent Joy and Sorrow Light and 
Shade. The harmonic symbols have fenced in the 
expression of music, from Bach to Wagner, and 
yet further on. until to-day and the day after 
to-morrow. Minor is employed with the same 
intention, and has the same effect upon us now, 
as two hundred years ago. Nowadays it is no 
longer possible to " compose" a funeral march, for 
it already exists, once for all. Even the least 
informed non-professional knows what to expect 
when a funeral march whichever you please is 
to be played. Even such an one can anticipate the 
difference between a symphony in niajof and one 


in minor. We are tyrannized by Major and 
Minor by the bifurcated garment. 

Strange, that one should feel major and minor 
as opposites. They both present the same face, 
now more joyous, now more serious; and a mere 
touch of the brush suffices to turn the one Into the 
other. The passage from either to the other is 
easy and Imperceptible; when It occurs frequently 
and swiftly, the two begin to shimmer and coalesce 
ffldistinguishably. But when we recognize that 
major and minor form one Whole with a double 
meaning, and that the "four-and- twenty keys" 
are simply an elevenfold transposition of the 
original twain, we arrive unconstrainedly at a 
perception of the UNITY of our system oj keys 
[tonality]. The conceptions of "related" and 
"foreign" keys vanish, and with them the entire 
intricate theory of degrees and relations. We 
possess one single key. But It is of most meagre 

"Unity of the key-system." 

"I suppose you mean that key 7 and < key- 
system* are the sunbeam and its diffraction into 

No; that I can not mean. For our whole system 
of tone, key, and tonality, takm in its entirety, 


is only a part of a fraction of one diffracted ray 
from that Sun, " Music," in the empyrean of the 
"eternal harmony." 

However deeply rooted the attachment to the 
habitual, and inertia, may be in the ways and 
nature of humankind, in equal measure are energy, 
and opposition to the existing order, characteristic 
of all that has life. Nature has her wiles, and 
persuades man, obstinately opposed though he be 
to progress and change; Nature progresses con 
tinually and changes unremittingly, but with so 
even and unnoticeable movement that men per 
ceive only quiescence. Only on looking backward 
from a distance do they note with astonishment 
that they have been deceived. 

The Reformer of any given period excites irrita 
tion for the reason that his changes find men 
unprepared, and, above all, because these changes 
are appreciable. The Reformer, in comparison 
with Nature, is undiplomatic; and, as a wholly 
logical consequence, his changes do not win general 
acceptance until Time, with subtle, imperceptible 
advance, has bridged over the leap of the self- 
assured leader. Yet we find cases in which the 
reformer marched abreast of the times, while the 
rest fell behind. And then they have to be forced 
sad lashed to take the leap across the passage 
tliey have missed. I believe that the major-and- 


minor key with its transpositional relations, our 
"twelve-semitone system/ exhibits such a case of 
failing behind. 

That some few have already felt how the intervak 
of the Series of Seven might be differently arranged 
(graduated) is manifested in isolated passages by 
Liszt, and recently by Debussy and his following, 
and even by Richard Strauss. Strong Impulse, 
longing, gifted instinct, all speak from these 
strains. Yet it does not appear to me that a 
conscious and orderly conception of this intensified 
means of expression had been formed by these 

I have made an attempt to exhaust the possi 
bilities of the arrangement of degrees within the 
seven-tone scale ; and succeeded, by raising and 
lowering the intervals? in establishing one hundred 
and ikirtem different scales. These 113 scales 
(within the octave C C) comprise the greater part 
of our familiar twenty-four keys, and, furthermore, 
a series of new keys of peculiar character. But 
with these the mine is not exhausted, for we are 
at liberty to transpose each one of these 113, 
besides the bkaiding of two such keys in harmony 
and melody. 

There is a significant difference between the sound 
of the scale &db-cbj&-gb-ab-bb-c when c is taken as 
took, and the scale of dv minor. By giving it the 


customary C-major triad as a fundamental har 
mony ? a novel harmonic sensation is obtained, 
But now listen to this same scale supported 
alternately by the .4 -minor, 2-major, and C-major 
triads, and you cannot avoid a feeling of delightful 
surprise at the strangely unfamiliar euphony. 

But how would a lawgiver classify the tone-series 
c-4 b- -/>--#-&-, c~d b~e *>-/-g b-a~i-, c-d~e &-/fr~g b-a~ 
b-c, c-db-e-f-gb-a-bb-c? or these, forsooth: 

One cannot estimate at a glance what wealth of 
melodic and harmonic expression would thus be 
opened up to the hearing; but a great many novel 
possibilities may be accepted as certain, and are 
perceptible at a glance. 

With this presentation, the unity of all keys may 
be considered as finally pronounced and justified. A 
kaleidoscopic blending and interchanging of twelve 
semitones within, the three-mirror tube of Taste, 
Emotion, and Intention the essential feature of 
the harmony of to-day. 

harmony of to-day, and not for long; for aH 
signs presage a revolution, and a next step toward 
that "eternal harmony*" Let us once again cal 
to mind, that in this latter the gradation of tte 
ctaire is mjmife f and let us strive to diaw a little 


nearer to bufiiiitude. Tlie tripartite tune (third f 
E tone) has for some time been demanding admit 
tance, and we have Ml the call unheeded. Who 
ever has experimented, like myself (In a modest 
way), with this interval, and introduced (either 
with voice or with violin) two equidistant inter 
mediate tones between the extremes of a whole 
tone, schooling his ear and his precision of attack, 
will not have failed to discern that tripartite tones 
are wholly independent iiitervak with a pfionooiieed 
character, and not to be confounded with ill-tuned 
semitones. They form a refinement in chromatics 
based, as at present appears, on the whole-tone 
scale. Were we to adopt them without further 
preparation, we should have to give up the semi 
tones and lose our "mbor third" ami "perfect 
fifth; 7 and this loss would be felt more keenly than 
the relative gain of a system of eighteen one-third 

But there is BO apparent reason for giving up 
the semitones for the sake of tliis BTW system. By 
retaining, foe each whole tone, a semitone, we 
obtain a second series of whole tones lying a 
semitone higher than the oriipaal series. Then, by 
dmding this sewed series of whole tones into 
third-teees, each third-toae in the lower series will 
be matched by a semitone in the higher series. 

Thus UPC have really anrived at a system of 
whole tones divided into sixths of a time; and we 
may be sure that even mill-tones will sometime 


be adopted into musical speech. But the tonal 
system above sketched must first of all train the 
hearing to thirds of a tone, without giving up the 

To summarize: We may set up either two 
series of third-tones, with an interval of a semitone 
between the series; or, the usual semitonic series 
Omce repealed at the interval of one-third of a tone. 

Merely for the sake of distinction, let us call 
the first tone C, and the next third-tones C3, and 
Db; the first semitone (small) c, and its following 
thirds c J and Jb; the result is fully explained by 
the table below: 



a a$ 




A preliminary expedient for notation might be, 
to draw six lines for the staff, using the lines for 
the whole tones and the spaces for the semitones: 

thai indicating the third-tones by sharps and flats: 



The question of Eolation seems to me sub 
ordinate. On the other baud, the question is 
important and imperious, how and on what these 
tones are to be produced. Fortunately, whfle 
busied with this essay, I received from America 
direct and authentic intelligence which solves the 
problem in a simple manner. I refer to an inven 
tion by Dr. Thaddeus CahilL* He has constructed 
a comprehensive apparatus which makes it possible 
to transform an electric current into a fixed and 
mathematically exact number of vibrations. As 
pitch depends on the number of vibrations, and 
the apparatus may be "set" on any number 
desired, the infinite gradation of the octave may 
be accomplished by merely moving a lever corre 
sponding to the pointer of a quadrant. 

Only a long and careful series of experiments, 
aad a continued training of the ear, can render 
this unfamiliar material approachable and plastic 
for the coining generation, and for ArL 

And what a vista of fair hopes and dreamlike 
fancies is thus opened for them both! Who has 
not dreamt that he could float on air? and firmly 

*"New Music I OF an CM World." Dr. Thaddetis 
CaJiIPs Dynani0f>lKmej an extraordinary electrical invention 
for producing scientifically perfect music. Article in 
MeOirre s Magazine for July, 1906, by Ray Standard 
Baker Readers interested in the details of this invention 
am referred to t&e above-mentioned magazine article. 


believed his dream to be reality? Let us take 
thought, how music may be restored to its primi 
tive, natural essence; let us free it from architec 
tonic, acoustic and esthetic dogmas; let it be pure 
invention and sentiment ? in harmonies, in forms, 
in tone-colors (for invention and sentiment are 
not the prerogative of melody alone) ; let it follow 
the line of the rainbow and vie with the clouds 
in breaking sunbeams; let Music be naught else than 
Nature mirrored by and reflected from the human 
breast; for it is sounding air and floats above 
and beyond the air ; within Man himself as univer 
sally and absolutely as in Creation entire; for it 
can gather together and disperse without losing in 

TN his book "Beyond the Good and the Bad" 
* (Jenseits wn Out und Bbse) Nietzsche says: 
"With regard to German music I consider pre 
caution necessary in various ways. Assuming that 
a person loves the South (as I love it) as a great 
training-school for health of soul and sense in 
their highest potency, as an uncontrollable flood 
and glamour of sunshine spreading over a race of 
independent and self-reliant beings; well, such an 
one will learn to be more or less on his guard 
against German musk, because, while spoiling his 
taste anew, it undermines his health. 
"Such a Southlander (not by descent, but by 


belief) must, should he dream of the future of 
music, likewise dream of a redemption of music 
from the North, while in his ears there rings the 
prelude to a deeper, mightier, perchance a more 
evil and more mysterious music, a super-German 
inioc, which does not fade, wither and die awmy 
in view of the blue, sensuous sea and the splendor 
of Mediterranean skies, as all German music does; 
a super-European music, that asserts itself even 
amid the tawny sunsets of the desert, wBose soul 
is alfied with the palm-tree, and can consort and 
prowl with great, beautiful, lonely beasts of prey. 

"I could imagine a music whose rarest charm 
should consist in its complete divorce from the 
Good and the Bad; only that its surface might 
be ruffled, as it were, by a longing as of a sailor 
for home, by variable golden shadows and tenter 
frailties: an Art which should see fleeing toward 
It, from afar off ; the hues of a perishing mental 
worM become wellnigh incomprehensible, and 
which should be hospitable and profound enough 
to harbor such belated fugitives." 

And Tolstoi transmutes a landscape-impression 
into a musical impression when he writes, in 
"Lucerne": "Neither on the lake, nor cm the 
mountains, nor in the sides, a single straight line, 
a single unmixed color, a single point of repose; 
everywhere movement, irregularity, caprice, vari 
ety y an incessant interplay of shades and lines, 


and in It all the reposefulness, softness, harmony 
and inevitableness of Beauty." 

Will this music ever be attained? 

"Not all reach Nirvana; but he who, gifted from 
the beginning, learns everything that one ought 
to learn, experiences all that one should experience, 
renounces what one should renounce, develops 
what one should develop, realizes what one 
should realize he shall reach Nirvana."* (KERN, 
Geschickte des Buddhismus in Indien.) 

If Nirvana be the realm "beyond the Good and 
the Bad," one way leading thither is here pointed 
out. A way to the very portal. To the bars that 
divide Man from Eternity or that open to admit 
that which was temporal. Beyond that portal 
sounds music. Not the strains of " musical art."f 
It may be, that we must leave Earth to find that 
music. But only to the pilgrim who has succeeded 
on the way in freeing himself from earthly shackles, 
shall the bars open. 

* As if anticipating my thoughts, M. Vincent d lndy has 
just written me : " . . . laissant de cote les eontin- 
gences et les petitesses de la vie pour regarder constammeut 
vers un ideal qu on ne pourra jamais atteindre, mais dont i! 
est pennis de se rapprocher." 

i I think I have read, somewhere, that Liszt co&fiaed Ms 
Dante Symphony to the two movements* Inferno and 
Pwrg&t&rw, " because our tone-speech is inadequate to ex 
press the felicities of Paradise. " 


T7EELING like honesty is a mom! point of 
*" * honor, an attribute f whose possession no 
one will permit denial, which claims a place in life 
and art alike. But while, in life, a want erf feeing 
may be forgiven to the ^possessor of a mom brilliant 
attribute, such as bravery or impartial justice, in 
art feeling is held to be the highest moral quali 

In music, however, feeling requires two consorts, 
taste and style. Now, in life, one encounters real 
taste as seldom as deep and true feeling; as for 
style, it is a province of art, What remains, is a 
species of pseudo-emotion which must be character 
ized as lachrymose hysteria or tuipdity. And, 
above all, people insist upon having it plainly 
paraded before their eyes! It must be underscored, 
so that everybody shall stop, look, and listen. 
The audience sees it, greatly magnified, thrown on 
the screen, so that it dances before the vision in 
vague, importunate vastness; it is cried cm the 
streets, to summon them that dwell mnote from 
art; it is gilded, to make the destitute stare in 

For in life, too, the expr$$$im$ of fedGng, by 
mien and words, are oftenest employed; rarer, 
and mone geauine, is that feeling which acts 


without talk; and most precious is the feeling which 
hides itself. 

"Feeling" is generally understood to mean 
tenderness, pathos, and extravagance, of expression. 
But how much more does the marvelous flower 
"Emotion" enfold! Restraint and forbearance, 
renunciation, power, activity, patience, magna 
nimity, joyousness, and that all-controlling intelli 
gence wherein feeling actually takes its rise. 

It is not otherwise in Art, which holds the mirror 
up to Life; and still more outspokenly in Music, 
which repeats the emotions of Life though for 
this, as I have said, taste and style must be added; 
Style, which distinguishes Art from Life. 

What the amateur and the mediocre artist 
attempt to express, is feeling in little, in detail, 
for a short stretch. 

Feeling on a grand scale is mistaken by the 
amateur, the semi-artist, the public (and the 
critics too, unhappily!), for a want of emotion, 
because they all are unable to hear the longer 
reaches as parts of a yet more extended whole. 
Feeling, therefore, is likewise economy. 

Hence, I distinguish feeling as Taste, as Style, 
as Economy. Each a whole in itself, and each 
one-third of the Whole. Within and over them 
rules a subjective trinity: Temperament, Inteffi- 
gence, and the instinct of Equipoise. 

These six carry on a dance of such subtffity in 
the choice of partners and intertwining of figures^ 


in the bearing and the being borne, in advancing 
and curtesying, in motion and repose, that no 
loftier height of artistry is conceivable. 

When the chords of the two triads are in perfect 
tune, Fantasy may nay, must associate with 
Feeling; supported by the Six, she will not degen 
erate, and out of this combination of all the elements 
arises Individuality. The individuality catches, 
like a lens, the light-impressions, reflects them, 
according to its nature, as a negative, and the 
bearer perceives the true picture. 

In so far as taste participates in feeling, the 
latter like all else alters its forms of expression 
with the period. That is, one aspect or another 
of feeling will be favored at one time or another, 
onesidedly cultivated, especially developed. Thus, 
with and after Wagner, voluptuous sensuality came 
to the fore; the form of intensification of passion 
is stOl unsurmounted by contemporary composers. 
On every tranquil beginning followed a swift 
upward surge. Wagaer, in this point insatiable, 
but not inexhaustible, turned from sheer necessity 
to the expedient, after reaching a climax, of starting 
afresh softly, to soar to a sudden new intensification. 

Modem French writers exhibit a revulsion; their 
feeling is a reflexive chastity, or perhaps rather a 
restrained sensualism; the upstriving mountain- 


paths of Wagner are succeeded by monotonous 
plains of twilight uniformity. 

Thus "style" forms itself out of feeling, when 
led by taste. 

The " Apostles of the Ninth Symphony" have 
devised the notion of "depth" in music. It is 
still current at face-value, especially in Germanic 

There is a depth of feeling, and a depth of 
thought; the latter is literary, and can have no 
application to tones. Depth of feeling, by contrast, 
is psychical, and thoroughly germane to the nature 
of music. The Apostles of the Ninth Symphony 
have a peculiar and not quite clearly defined 
estimate of "depth" in music. Depth becomes 
breadth, and the attempt is made to attain it 
through weight; it then discovers itself (through an 
association of ideas) by a preference for a deep 
register, and (as I have had opportunity to observe) 
by the insinuation of a second, mysterious notion, 
usually of a literary sort. If these are not the 
sole specific signs, they are the most important 

To every disciple of philosophy, however, depth 
of feeling would seem to imply exhaustiveness in 
feeling, a complete absorption in the given mood. 

Whoever, surrounded by the full tide of a 
genuine carnival crowd, slinks about morosely or 


even indifferently^ neither affected nor carried away 
by the tremendous self-satire of mask and motley, 
by the might of misrule over kw ? by the vengeful 
feeling of wit running riot ? shows himself incapable 
of sounding the depths of feeling. This gives 
further confirmation of the fact, that depth of 
feeling roots in a complete absorption in the 
given mood, however frivolous, and blossoms in 
the interpretation of that mood; whereas the cur 
rent conception of deep feeling singles out only 
one aspect of feeling in man, and specializes that. 
In the so-called "Champagae Aria" in Dem 
Giovanni there lies more "depth" than in many a 
funeral march or nocturne: Depth of feeling also 
shows in not wasting it on subordinate or unim 
portant matters, 

T> OUTINE is highly esteemed and frequently 
^^ required; in musical "officialdom" it is a 
sine qua n&n. That routine in music should exist 
at all, and, furthermore, that it can be nominated 
as a condition in the musician s bond, is another 
proof of the narrow confines of our musical art. 
Routine signifies the acquisition of a mcdicum of 
experience and artcraft, and their application to 
all cases which may occur; hence, there must be 
an astounding number of analogous cases. Now, 
I like to imagine a species of art-praxis wherein 
each case should be a new one, an exception! How 
helptess and impotent would the army of practical 


musicians stand before it! in the end they would 
surely beat a retreat, and disappear. Routine 
transforms the temple of art into a factory. It 
destroys creativeness. For creation means, the 
bringing form out of the void; whereas routine 
flourishes on imitation. It is "poetry made to 
order." It rules because it suits the generality: 
In the theatre, in the orchestra, in virtuosi, in 
instruction. One longs to exclaim, "Avoid routine! 
Let each beginning be, as had none been before! 
Know nothing, but rather think and feel! For, 
behold, the myriad strains that once shall sound 
have existed since the beginning, ready, afloat in 
the aether, and together with them other myriads 
that shall never be heard. Only stretch forth your 
hands, and ye shall grasp a blossom, a breath of 
the sea-breeze, a sunbeam; avoid routine, for it 
strives to grasp only that wherewith your four 
walls are filled, and the same over and over again; 
the spirit of ease so infects you, that you will 
scarcely leave your armchairs, and will lay hold 
only of what is nearest to hand. And myriad 
strains are there since the beginning, still waiting 
for manifestation ! " 

"It is my misfortune, to possess no routine," 
Wagner once wrote Liszt, when the composition 
dE "Tristan" was making no progress. Thus 
Wagper deceived himself, and wore a mask fee 


others. He had too much routine, and his com 
posing-machinery was thrown out of gear, just 
when a tangle formed in the mesh which only 
Inspiration could unloose. True, Wagner found 
the dew when he succeeded in throwing off routine; 
but had he really never possessed it, he would have 
declared the fact without bitterness. And, after 
all, this sentence in Wagner s letter expresses the 
true artist-contempt for routine, inasmuch as he 
waives all claim to a qualification which he things 
meanly of, and takes care that others may not 
invest him with it. This self-praise he utters with 
a mien of ironic desperation. He is, in very truth, 
unhappy that composition is at a standstill, but 
finds rich consolation in the consciousness that his 
genius is above the cheap expedients of routine; 
at the same time, with an air of modesty, he 
sorrowfully confesses that he has not acquired a 
training belonging to the craft 

The sentence is a masterpiece of the native 
ginning of the instinct of self-preservation; but 
equally proves and that is our point the petti 
ness of routine in creative work. 

T> ESPECT the Pianoforte! Its disadvantages 
-" are evident, decided, and unquestionable: 
The lack of sustained tone, and the pitiless, 
unyielding adjustment of the inalterable semitonic 


But its advantages and prerogatives approach 
the marvelous, 

It gives a single man command over something 
complete; in its potentialities from softest to 
loudest in one and the same register it excels all 
other instruments. The trumpet can blare, but 
not sigh; contrariwise the flute; the pianoforte can 
do both. Its range embraces the highest and 
deepest practicable tones. Respect the Piano 

Let doubters consider how the pianoforte was 
esteemed by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, who 
dedicated their choicest thoughts to it. 

And the pianoforte has one possession wholly 
peculiar to itself, an inimitable device, a photo 
graph of the sky, a ray of moonlight the Pedal. 

The effects of the pedal are unexhausted, because 
they have remained even to this day the drudges 
of a narrow-souled and senseless harmonic theory; 
the treatment accorded them is like trying to 
mould air or water into geometric forms. Beet 
hoven, who incontestably achieved the greatest 
progress on and for the pianoforte, divined the 
mysteries of the pedal, and to Hm we owe the 
first liberties. 

The pedal is in ill-repute. For this, absurd 
Irregularities must bear the blame. Let us experi 
ment with sensible irregularities. 


T FELT . . . that the book I shall write wffl be 
* neither in English nor in Latin; and this for 
the one reason . . . namely, that the language in 
which it may be given me not only to write, but 
also to think, will not be Latin, or English, or 
Italian, or Spanish, but a language not even (me 
of whose words I know, a language in which dumb 
things speak to me, and in which, it may be, I 
shall at last have to respond in my grave to an 
Unknown Judge." 

(Von HoflErnannsthal: A letter.) 


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